I live in a townhouse complex and share a small front lawn with my neighbour. The lawn is probably 20 x 20 and has a single mature tree in the middle. The trunk is about two feet across. It has green flat leaves that are shaped somewhat like a candle flame - broad at the base, tapering to a point. My neighbour has recently started parking his car on his half of the shared lawn within about five feet of the trunk of this tree. The car must regularly pass within three feet of the trunk to get to the spot he parks. Will this activity damage the root structure of our tree and threaten its health? The tree is about 30 feet tall with a canopy about 20 feet in diameter.

It sounds to me like you're inquiring about a large Basswood. I can appreciate your concern, as you are completely correct. Anytime you are compacting the soil - especially with the weight of a vehicle - you will be putting stress on the root system below. A tree of that species and diameter is common to have important fibrous roots extending to a distance twice as long as the longest low branches. The stress this puts on a tree will not only begin to show signs of die-back, but also open the window for pests and fungi. Therefore, it is very important to first fix the problem at hand, followed by proper fertilization and irrigation. Contact us anytime to arrange an appointment at no cost.

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